Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker won’t commit to keeping current House Speaker John Boehner in the position if he defeats Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth this fall.
Since taking control of Congress, the GOP caucus has had some internal infighting and conservative activists have been critical of Speaker John Boehner, who has clashed with Tea Party lawmakers over the debt ceiling and other negotiations.
Some national conservative groups have publicly called for Boehner's ouster as House leader.
Wicker says he won’t commit to voting for Boehner or not, and hopes other lawmakers will be vying for the position.
“I have questions about some of the issues and positions that have been taken. I would prefer to have an open election for the seat,” he told 84 WHAS radio show host Mandy Connell. “Hopefully there will be other people who will contest him for that leadership position and we’ll be able to have a true election for the leader.”
Wicker has been an outspoken critic of the party as much as Yarmuth lately. Earlier this year, he called out the Jefferson County Republican Party for ignoring his race.
In a telephone with WFPL, Wicker told the radio station he disagrees with Boehner on some issues but would not specify what particularly nor a candidate he favors over the speaker.
“I’m not going to Washington to be part of a club. I’m going to Washington to try to get something done. I’m not saying that I would not vote for Congressman Boehner. He may very well be the best candidate for that post when that election is held, but I would want to keep the options open and look at other members of leadership,” he says.
The Louisville accountant's campaign also announced an invitation-only fundraiser hosted at the house of Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter.
Wicker has struggled to raise money in his bid to unseat Yarmuth. In the first three months of the year, Yarmuth raised more than $80,000 compared to Wicker’s meager $3,000.
Wicker says Schnatter is an example of the country’s entrepreneurial spirit and the fundraiser should help close the financial gap.
“This is all coming. The snowball has been rolling and I think it’s going to pick up a lot more steam through this fundraiser. It’s going to open quite a few eyes to the fact that there is support out there for a Republican candidate running against Mr. Yarmuth. And it’s going to propel us on the path to being able to win this race,” he says.
Earlier this year, Schnatter hosted a fundraiser for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney that garnered $500,000 in one day.